Day 23: Tuesday

Tuesday: Reflect  (Think)

As God speaks to us, we reflect on his Word by “ruminating” on it in our minds. Read the passage of the “Nunc Dimittis (Luke 2:29-32) for the third time. Relish the words. Let them resound in your heart. Be attentive to what speaks to your heart.

 

Yesterday, we examined two interrelated themes in the Nunc Dimittis: sight “My eyes have seen”), and the light of revelation. Today, we move on to the second theme in Simeon’s song, which is that of his inclusion of both Gentiles and Israelites as recipients of Jesus’ salvation: “My eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared before the face of all the people, a light for the revelation of Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel.” This, too, is a theme that we have already touched on in other canticles.

 

Simeon is the first character in Luke’s gospel to understand and proclaim this integral theme, giving evidence to the spiritual understanding attributed to him above. One major way in which Luke develops this theme is through the ministry of Saul in the book of Acts. As the Lord tells Ananias in chapter 9, “[Saul] is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel” (v. 15). Another way in which Luke develops the theme of Gentile inclusion is his description in Acts 15 of the Jerusalem council held to determine whether Gentile converts to Christianity should be circumcised as their Jewish counterparts were. One of the elders, James, refers to Simeon’s words in the Nunc Dimittis in his speech to the council:

 

“And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and

brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did

visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this

agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return,

and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I

will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of

men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name

is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are

all his works from the beginning of the world. Wherefore my sentence is,

that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to

God.” (Acts 15:13-19)

 

James’ speech is the turning point in the council, and it leads to greater acceptance of the Gentile community into the new Christian faith. From this example and others, we have seen that Simeon’s Nunc Dimittis serves as an exposition of two themes that Luke develops in his Gospel: spiritual sight and revelation, as well as the inclusion of all peoples in God’s plan for human salvation.

 

 

The Taizé Community is an ecumenical monastic order in Taizé, Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy, France. It is composed of more than one hundred brothers, from Catholic and Protestant traditions, who originate from about thirty countries across the world. It was founded in 1940 by Brother Roger Schütz, a Reformed Protestant. Guidelines for the community’s life are contained in The Rule of Taizé, written by Brother Roger and first published in French in 1954.

The community has become one of the world’s most important sites of Christian pilgrimage. Over 100,000 young people from around the world make pilgrimages to Taizé each year for prayer, Bible study, sharing, and communal work. Through the community’s ecumenical outlook, they are encouraged to live in the spirit of kindness, simplicity and reconciliation.

Listen the Taizé singing of the Nunc Dimittis with a quiet heart. As you do:

  • Ask God to speak to your heart about the inclusion of all peoples in his plan for salvation. What comes to mind?
  • How does the concept of spiritual sight and the light of revelation inform this plan for salvation? Consider your own spiritual sight: how has the light shone by studying God’s word in this study been a light of revelation for you?
  • How might God be leading you to shine this light of revelation for the life of the world? Consider the word of phrase that has stood out to you in this passage. What might God be suggesting to you?

 

Prayer:

Ask God to help you see how you, like Simeon, might proclaim his salvation for all people.